Friday, July 29, 2011

IBM Connections Files Plugins Now Supported on Mac

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Today, IBM released new plugins to make their social platform even more accessible for Mac users. Mac users now have one new plugin they can use directly from their desktop.

The first plugin is the Files plugin. The plugin allows you to access, share, and search all of your files. You can also view files that you have shared, files that have been shared with you, files that belong to a particular person, or all public files. Of course, having access to your files from your desktop is not a new capability per se. Users, including Mac users, have been able to use the free Adobe Drive software to access the files from Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder for quite some time.

Once you find the file you want, you can double-click to open the file or you can drag-n-drop the file into a new email message or instant message. IT will certainly love this feature since it will reduce the bandwidth required to constantly send files back and forth and it will also reduce storage needs. End-users will also like this feature because it'll help them save space and not hit their email quotas.

Here you can see the various views provided by the plugin.

One of the features that I really like is the ability to drag-n-drop files from my desktop directly into the plugin. When I do so, a dialog comes up asking if I want to upload the file to my personal file share, share with a one or more people, or simply make it private. I like this feature because I no longer have to manually open a browser, log on to the system, upload the file, etc. I can do it from a single drag-n-drop action and even notify users that I've uploaded a file.



The other plugin that was released was the microblogging or Status Updates plugin. The plugin integrates directly into my mail client and I can keep up with what's going on in my organization directly from the sidebar. Of course, applications like Connections Glue have existed for a while (which I **really** like), but I have to say that I like how it's nicely integrated into my email client.

As usual, the plugins are available for free and can be downloaded from the Lotus App Catalog. The direct link for the Files plugin is here and the direct link for the Status Updates plugin is here.

Article first published as IBM Releases New Mac OS Plugin for Connections on Technorati.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reto 2.0 2011 Awards

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Last Tuesday was the award ceremony for the Reto 2.0 competition. You may remember that I talked about this competition as well as last year.

The competition is open to all college students and is sponsored by IBM, HP, and Microsoft. The idea is to promote college students to build a web 2.0 application. The team built http://enterar.me which roughly translates to: learn . The goal of the site is to have a single view of news events that are happening around me and being shared by my friends. It pulls data from Twitter and Facebook and even includes sentiment analysis to show whether it's "good news" (e.g. the US government is debt free) or "bad news" (e.g. 9.8 Earthquake Hits Chile).

I think the portal has tremendous potential so I hope the students keep building on it and can eventually monetize it. For those of you who know Spanish, the URL is awesome!

Here's the newspaper clipping:

Reto20-2011

The winning team got a copy of Rational Team Concert ( the software development platform that is social) and a bunch of IBM goodies.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How To Use Twitter As Part Of Your Social Business Strategy

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One of the podcasts that I like to listen to frequently is The Social Hour (previously known as net@night) with Sarah Lane and Amber MacArthur. It's a good show to keep up with some of the consumer oriented social media tools. To me, it's another way to keep visibility as to what's happening out there and hopefully get ideas on what we can add into our platform.

About two weeks ago, I was at the AT&T store getting my iPhone replaced (I could hear people, but they couldn't hear me) and as I waited I was watching episode 14. In it, one of the listeners asks for tips / resources on where to learn more about social media tools for the enterprise. The listener had heard of Chatter, but wanted to learn what else was out there. I felt compelled to reply.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and in last week's episode Sarah and Amber covered oneforty.com founded by Laura Fitton (aka @pistachio). For those of you who haven't seen it, oneforty.com is a great resource for companies who want to leverage Twitter as one of their channels for social media. They have a free e-Book on Twitter 101 and showcase various apps that you can use with Twitter for analytics, advertising, marketing, brand monitoring, productivity and more. They also have a community which builds and maintains toolkits. A toolkit is a way to group multiple Twitter apps together. For example, Mashable has its own toolkit which highlights all the apps they use in their newsroom.

One of the apps that oneforty.com lists is IBM's Big Sheets which the University of Southern California uses as a Twitter Box Office Predictor. If you haven't yet, definitely spend some time at oneforty.com to learn how to build your social business on Twitter and watch the interview with the founder below.

Towards the end of the show, at about 48:10, Sarah and Amber read out my email that I had sent them. In the email I highlight some of the vendors in the enterprise social media world such as SocialText and Newsgator (I wanted to be as unbiased as possible). I also recommend to the listener to go out to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference website and check out all the information listed there so they can tell who the players are and who he may want to engage with.

Something that was not mentioned, however, is that another good way to learn more social media for enterprises is to follow the hashtags #e2conf and #socbiz in Twitter. Subscribe to those if you haven't yet.

I also gave a shout out to Luis Suarez who was interviewed by Amber back when it was net@night:

Needless to say, I'm excited that Connections got a mention in the show. Now I can tell my mom: "Hey, ma! Look, I'm on Twit!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Free Webinar - Social Media Inside the Firewall

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Last Wednesday, Business Insider last week featured a tremendous article where they named IBM the Future of Social Business "because they are willing to invest, test, fail and succeed in becoming a social business". The author of the article, Mark Fidelman, interviewed IBM's VP of Social Software, Jeff Schick. The article talks about IBM's road to become a social business. In the article, Schick highlights the importance of social analytics as we move forward and make it easier for more and more people to create content.

Building on that, InfoBOOM will be hosting free webinar on Social Media Inside the Firewall at IBM. You may remember that about a year ago I was asked to do a 15-minute presentation at Public Relations conference. At that conference, I chose to talk about Social Media Behind the Firewall and shared my presentation over at Slideshare:

For this week's webinar, I'll go through and update that presentation with the latest statistics, which coincidentally, were also highlighted in Business Insider's article last week (see below). I'll also be expanding a bit on why it's important to embrace social media behind the firewall.


As you can tell from those stats, social media tools are not just a fad at IBM, but they are actually part of our day-to-day processes! This is one of the lessons learned I'll be covering in the webinar.

If you are still on the fence on whether or not your organization can get value from social media tools inside the firewall, or if you simply want to learn more about how I use social media behind the firewall and why, I invite you to join the webinar. To register, click here.


Article first published as InfoBOOM Hosts Free Webinar on Social Media Inside the Firewall on Technorati.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Social Software Implications in Regulated Industries

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A lot of companies are going through the process now to become a social business. While some of the companies that I have talked to have security and compliance as one of their top of mind issues, it still doesn't feel like the majority of companies are thinking about this.

Many have captured the benefits of social media in the enterprise. In my opinion, the benefits are undeniable and I feel that a lot of companies are going to deploy some sort of social media solution in their enterprise if they haven't yet. In fact, IDC reports that social software in the enterprise had a 32% growth in 2010.

Risks in Social Media

As with any collaboration too, regulated companies also see social media as a risk. For example, organizations in financial services, energy, healthcare, or government are subject to regulations such as FINRA, SOX, FERC, NERC, HIPAA, and FRCP to name a few. These regulations are defined by government and industry regulatory agencies and apply to communications via email, instant messaging and now social collaboration.

In Financial Services, for example, you want to prevent insider trading and avoid someone using microblogs or status updates where a broker may say "special rates, guarantee a 200% increase". In Healthcare, patient confidentiality is extremely important and it wouldn't be good if someone wrote in a wiki "Joe Smith is being treated for early coronary artery disease". I think you get the idea.

Managing Risks in Social Media

So what's a company to do? Certainly, not using social collaboration is not an option. Social software vendors are starting to offer solutions to help companies feel comfortable about social media. For example, as WebProNews reports, IBM recently announced their partnership with Actiance to provide a complete governance and eDiscovery solution for IBM Connections.

And building on that, IBM today announced new cloud-based collaboration services to help U.S. Federal government organizations reap the benefits of social computing. The new set of social collaboration services, delivered on IBM’s Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)-compliant Federal Community Cloud, addresses the administration's drive to adopt a "cloud-first" policy which is designed to help the government improve its overall IT efficiency and delivery of services to citizens. IBM's Federal Community Cloud is specifically designed to help federal government organizations respond to technology requirements more quickly. The secure, private cloud environment is part of IBM's established and dedicated Federal Data Center that provides secure and comprehensive certified computing capabilities to federal government clients.

From the press release:

“The rise in Big Data and the demand for transparency and collaboration will continue to put pressure on agencies to embrace new computing environments such as cloud to improve IT capabilities,” said Todd S. Ramsey, General Manager, IBM U.S. Federal. “IBM cloud collaboration solutions will help agencies gain faster access to the latest technologies, increase innovation across departments and ultimately improve citizen services.”

Get Social, But Don't Forget About Compliance

WebProNews recently interviewed my colleague René Schimmer to talk about these issues and I've included the video interview here:

Actiance has also created a really good presentation that I wanted to share with you along this topic: 10 Must Have Tips for Security, Productivity and Compliance of Social Collaboration

Social collaboration 10 must have tips for security, productivity and compliance
View more webinars from Unified Communications Online
So get on the social media bandwagon... but don't forget about compliance!!

Article first published as Implications of Social Media in Regulated Industries on Technorati.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Updated iOS App Now Available for Quickr 8.5

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iOS users re-joice! Snapps has just published an update to their SnappFiles application in the iTunes App Store. SnappFiles for Quickr is a business app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that allows you to access your Quickr places and files directly from your iPhone, iPod Touch and/or iPad. No modifications to your server are required at all; just point to the server, log in, and start browsing. The app is tremendously popular with reports that is being used by an elected President of a country.

The latest update published is version 1.0.5 which includes the following new features:

  • Support for IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5.1 for both Domino and Portal
  • Support for IBM Content Manager 8 (CM8) with Content Manager Services for Lotus Quickr installed
  • Support for IBM FileNet P8 with FileNet Services for Lotus Quickr installed
  • Support for IBM Social ECM Bundle
  • Downloaded files can be opened in other registered apps, whether viewable by the native device viewer or not (iOS 3.2 and higher) — for instance, a non-viewable zip file may be opened in the Dropbox app, or a viewable PDF stored in iBooks
  • Runs as a background app (iOS 4.0 and higher)
  • Experimental support for Alfresco Open Source ECM, Documentum, and OpenText with third party integration for Lotus Quickr installed

I've been using the app now for a couple of weeks and like it a lot. It allows me to use Quickr as Dropbox for the Enterprise. I can easily browse and navigate my files. I find it really useful when I go to customer sites, pull down a presentation stored in Quickr and present directly from my iPad.

And speaking of Dropbox, the new version allows you to save downloaded files into Dropbox. In fact, this new version allows you to open downloaded files with any app that supports the "Open in..." dialog box in your iOS device, for example, iBooks for viewing PDFs (as seen below).


I believe access to your mobile documents on the go is key to driving adoption and accelerating your process in becoming a social business. Therefore, this app is must-have! To download it, you can get it here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snappfiles/id352215859?mt=8

If you've never seen SnappFiles in action, take a peek at the demo movie here (which doesn't show the new features yet):


Article first published as Updated iOS App for Quickr Now Available in iTunes App Store on Technorati.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My First Infographic

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I am big fan of Infographics because they really help you visualize and consume data in an easy and appealing way.

Mashable, a social media magazine I like to read a lot, seems to like Infographics as well given all the articles they have with Infographics.

So I decided to create my first Infographic with the help of visual.ly and this is what came out.

Cool!

New 60-Day Free Trial for Multimedia Library for Quickr

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Today I have something new that's available that I wanted to make you aware. Lately I feel like all I'm sharing is news around releases and new software that is available. I do have to admit that It's very exciting to see all these new things happening around IBM Connections and Quickr. I think everyone gets excited when there's such momentum around something, no?

The ibm.com pages have been recently updated to announce a new program for the Quickr 8.5 Multimedia Library. So for those of you who haven't heard about the Multimedia Library... what is it?

The Multimedia Library quickly teaches end-users essential skills, productivity tips and much more to be successful using IBM Lotus Software. The latest addition to the Multimedia Library training solution is Quickr 8.5 - enabling users to work faster, smarter, Quickr. The Multimedia Library for Quickr teaches individuals how to create, upload, send and share documents and information with team members, as well as more advanced features on how to integrate Quickr with IBM Sametime, Connections and Lotus Notes.

For all those new customers that are getting started on Quickr and also all those customers upgrading from a previous release, this is a great resource to drive end-user adoption. Quickr 8.5 has many new enhancements for end-users, such as; a better browser-based rich text editor, ability to view entire threads in a discussion form and better version management. The Multimedia Library for Quickr 8.5 will show you instantly how to use these new feature and more.

The great thing about the new Try & Buy program is that you can get access to the full version of the Multimedia Library for free for 60 days. If you are not convinced that the Multimedia Library is for you after 60 days, simply uninstall it.

Interested? Here's a copy of the announcement:

=======================================================================================================

ANNOUNCING THE NEW "TRY & BUY" PROGRAM
image
IBM Lotus Education is excited to offer you a Free 60-Day Trial of the NEW Multimedia Library for Quickr 8.5 (English edition). Try & Buy gives you the ability to download the full version of the NEW Quickr 8.5 training tool for your organization. It gives you access to courses, lessons and hundreds of video tutorials showing users how to realize the full value of Quickr team collaboration software.

Soon after you've registered for the Try & Buy program, you'll receive an email with product download and installation instructions for loading the Multimedia Library for Quickr 8.5 onto a standard web server. Your organization will then have the ability to use the product for productive use during the 60 day period. The MML product can be used for training any end users in your organization during the "Try and Buy" period.

The Multimedia Library for Lotus Software is a just-in-time training tool in use by nearly 5 million Lotus software users. Contact an Education Delivery Manager in your region or your IBM Sales representative if you have additional questions about this offer or any Lotus Education offerings.

Spread the word!


Article first published as New 60-Day Free Trial for Multimedia Library for Quickr on Technorati.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

ISW Releases iOS App for IBM Connections

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ISW, one of IBM's business partners based out of Australia has released a native iOS app for IBM Connections. You may remember that about 1 year ago I talked about IBM releasing the basic components of an iPhone app for Connections. That effort was led by the developerWorks team who created their own iPhone app for Connections.

When I blogged about that toolkit, I hinted: "I cant wait to see what kind of applications developers are now going to create". It seems like that meant "challenge accepted" for various business partners. First, mLinked release their app for iOS and now ISW has created iWildfire.

I've been playing with iWildfire now for a while and have hooked up to my social network behind the firewall. One of my favorite things about the app is that it can seamlessly combine multiple Connections networks. This is fantastic because I can now use one app to monitor my different Connections networks like Greenhouse, BleedYellow, myDeveloperWorks, and ibm.com. The activity stream from all these instances gets combined into 1 activity stream and it's even color coded so you can tell which event is coming from which social network.

iWildfire is an universal app which means that it will natively work in your iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. It also packs tons of features. I won't go into all the features, but here are some of the ones that I like:

  • View Status Updates and leave Comments
  • Call/SMS/Email directly from someone's profile
  • Invite to Network
  • View My Board
  • View other Profile Boards
  • Download/Open files, cancel downloading
  • Store and view local files
  • Comment and view comments on files
  • Files integration with other iOS Apps to view/read files
  • Comment on and recommend blog entries
  • Search by Tag or Keyword

The team promises that they'll keep updating the app and will even provide a Pro version soon with additional capability.

As usual, those interested in IBM Connections can get them from the Lotus App Catalog, and iWildfire is available there . To learn more about iWildfire for IBM Connections, check out their page at: http://iwildfire.isw.ibm.com . Kudos to the ISW team for making this available to the community and, needless to say, I'm very excited about the growing developer ecosystem around IBM Connections. Keep it coming!


Article first published as ISW Releases Native iOS App for IBM Connections on Technorati.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Social Connections User Group Sucessfully Kicks Off

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Earlier this week, the first ever IBM Connections User Group event took place in London at the the Salvation Army's international headquarters just adjacent to the Millennium Bridge in the centre of London.

The agenda looks like it was a really good one and I really want to congratulate the organizers, speakers, and sponsors for putting together a really good event. As I catch up with all the tweets and blogs about the event, the sentiment is overall very positive. There's even a Lanyrd page that's aggregating all the coverage about the event. It's a shame that I couldn't attend. I really wanted to go but it conflicted with my spouse's birthday and a long weekend over here. Maybe I can participate in the next one.

If you couldn't make your way to London over the July 4th weekend, don't worry. The event's organizers have gone out and shared the session recordings like this one where you see my colleagues Mike Roche talking about the latest release of Connections and hints as to what's coming and Michael Ahern who focuses on the new user lifecycle capabilities within Connections.

The slides for the various presentations have also been captured and shared on Slideshare. I particularly liked this one: I'm Too Busy To Collaborate (haven't we all heard that at least one time) which is also part of the video above so you can see the material that Joseph was speaking to:


Article first published as The Social Connections User Group Successfully Kicks Off on Technorati.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

GSX Releases New Quickr Monitoring Tool

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Just before going to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston I was notified that GSX had released a new tool to monitor Quickr on Domino. GSX Monitor has been around for a while and it makes it easy for IT staffers to manage and, well, monitor their environment from a single user interface. It can work with Microsoft Exchange, BlackBerry servers, Domino servers and now with Quickr for Domino, part of IBM's social software suite.

In the GSX Monitor console you can configure multiple Quickr servers and from the console you can:

  • Monitor your Quickr server and service availability
  • Track and monitor the availability of key places
  • Monitor authentication, place, and catalog availability
  • Utilize the new Quickr statistics for reporting


Here's a quick demo video that was put together that shows how you can monitor your Quickr servers along with Microsoft Exchange, BlackBerry and others:

You can read more about the release here and here's a list of all the new features in GSX Monitor v10. As usual, you can find out more in the Lotus App Catalog here. I'm excited to see all the cool solutions that business partners are building around our platform!


Article first published as GSX Releases Updated Monitor Tool Now Supporting Quickr on Technorati.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Enteprise 2.0 Boston Conference 2011 Recap

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It's the end of the quarter and all the deals are pretty much done so I can now take a breather and do a quickr recap of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference which happened last week in Boston. IBM was represented very well at this conference which seems right given that IDC named IBM the world wide leader in social software platforms based on market share for the 2nd year in a row.

Monday

Monday was the pre-conference workshops. I think the highlight of Monday is the (now typical?) E2.0 Black Belt Practitioner's In-Depth Workshop. In this workshop, practitioners from all over come together to share experiences and best practices on how to best drive adoption of social software and drive the transformation to become a social business.

Emanuele Quintarelli did an amazing job summarizing this session here. In his summary, you'll see Lowe's Home Improvement's success story. Lowe's shared how they started their transformation with a simple discussion forum but then moved on to more sophisticated social business software, specifically IBM Connections.

Lowe's reported that they didn't see any new risks emerge which is good as that is often a big fear organizations have when contemplating becoming a social business. Lowe's has about 45M page views/month, 4000 communities, 3000 blogs, and 1 community manager monitoring site-wide activity. Their ROI? Well, they didn't focus on that, instead they focus on Return on Performance and how tacit knowledge comes closer to explicit activities.   

Sandy Carter also blogged about Lowe's success story and Lowe's was also feature by Alex Williams here. Congratulations Lowe's!

Tuesday

Tuesday started with a very long keynote. The keynote was a set of mini-keynotes each 15 minutes long. Mike Rhodin, Senior Vice President of IBM Software was the second speaker and I thought he did a tremendous job. He mentioned that it's very important that we look at our past so that we don't repeat the errors of the past (I think he was referring to ol' KM days?). He also had a big focus on analystics and their importance to make sense of all the data that gets created in social platforms. The comments on the conference Twitter feed were also very positive. You can find a replay of they keynote here.

Alistair Rennie took the stage after the keynotes for his session Business Insight Means Better Business Decisions. I believe Alistair did a tremendous job (and I'm not only saying this because his my General Manager). Alistair's session was labeled as an IBM sponsored session and it was *packed*! I believe Alistair did a very good job at staying away from a straight vendor pitch but rather focus on the *why* social business and *how* social business.

After lunch, I headed over to the Expo floor to demo Connections to interested parties. There were tons of people that stopped by and loved what we had to offer. A potential business partner even came by and mentioned that they were working with another vendor but that they were being very rude to them so he was interested in learning how to work with us. Yay!

I kinda like the concept of mini keynotes, but it would be nice if they would at least have a consistent theme, otherwise it feels like just random things put together.

I also discovered some goodies in the bag that was given to conference attendees. For example, there was a KMWorld magazine article on how Social Software sustains Collaboration at Bayer Material Sciences thanks to IBM Connections.

Cool Bayer article on their use of IBM Connections that was i... on Twitpic

Cool Bayer article on their use of IBM Connections that was i... on Twitpic

You can find the full article here.

Another goodie was that I got a free sample of Sandy Carter's upcoming book which will be available on September 2011: Get Bold - Using Social Media to Create a New Type of Social Business. You can pre-order from Amazon here.


After the conference was done on Tuesday, I headed over to Fenway Park to catch the Red Sox vs Padres game. Unfortunately, Josh Beckett couldn't pitch that day cause he was "sick". The nerve!!! I travel all the way from Puerto Rico and he calls in sick ;). The Red Sox ended up losing the game unfortunately. The weather, however, was FANTASTIC! And it was great to hang out with colleagues and prospective customers. Here are some pictures:

Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic Pics from the Red Sox game I went to last week  on Twitpic

Wednesday

Wednesday was about the same schedule, but for me it was fully dedicated to customer meetings so I couldn't attend any sessions. When I was not at meetings, I was again at the Expo floor.

Because I was at the expo floor, I missed Rawn Shah's session: "How Do You Measure That?". Rawn shared the presentation which I've included below (now if I could only find the audio recording..:) ):

Luis Suarez, one of my colleagues, posted a fantastic set of highlights in his blog. I really liked how he summarized all: "Offline Social Networking Still Rules!". How true. Often I feel that I'm in a session but because there's a speaker, we all have to keep quiet. And I found that the Twitter backchannel was going so fast that it was hard to keep up with (and often a distraction).

I find, however, that at this particular conference I didn't get a chance to socialize with everyone that I wanted to. I am hopeful that perhaps next time will be better!!


Article first published as Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston 2011 Recap on Technorati.